Youth | Programs & Activities | Lakeland Hills Family YMCA

Terms / Policies / Procedures


The Lakeland Hills Family YMCA offers an array of summer day camp experiences guaranteed to meet the needs of all children.  A professionally trained staff dedicates themselves to providing children with top quality programs that focus on developing the whole child. Children will learn to socialize, cooperate, make decisions, build self-esteem, and challenge themselves.  Children love the opportunity to explore unique outdoor experiences and welcome the chance to have control over part of their day.


The Y’s commitment to character development makes it extraordinarily valuable to the communities and people it serves. Building on this commitment and making it part of everyday operations and programming are our challenges.


The mission of the Lakeland Hills Family YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs and services that promote youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility for all.


In a challenging world, the Lakeland Hills Family YMCA day camp tries to guide children in making the right decisions, building self-esteem, and displaying empathy and compassion for others. Our staff promises to demonstrate and develop the Four Core Values of the YMCA in all aspects of working with the children, but staff alone cannot make the difference.  A strong partnership between parents and staff, including the support and reinforcement of our values must be present to foster the growth of happy, confident, and caring children. The Y’s commitment to character development makes it valuable to the camp community. Our day camp seeks to promote these core values in every experience and relationship.

  • CARING: To be sensitive to the well-being of others, and to love others.
  • HONESTY: To tell the truth; to act in such a way that you are worthy of trust; to have integrity; and to make sure your choices match your values.
  • RESPECT: To treat others as you would have them treat you; to value the worth of every person, including yourself.
  • RESPONSIBILITY: To do what is right, what you ought to do; to be accountable for your behavior and obligations.


Refer to the chart below for the person who can best help you with your camp needs.

Whenever you have questions or concerns related to the camp program, please direct them to the Camp Director or your child’s Activity Leader. Proper action can only be taken when clear communication happens. All phone messages will be answered within 24 hours. Camp Director will return calls between 4:00PM and 5:00PM If you prefer, you may email us at . If you wish to speak with someone in person, please stop by the camp office between 9:00AM – 4:00PM and we will be happy to assist you.

We will be sending home emails once per week outlining camp happenings that are specific to your camper. Please understand that the emails will be sent to the address that you have provided on your camper’s medical form. These emails will highlight group activities, upcoming events, camper and staff highlights, Big Fun Time, Group Photos, etc.

Full Day Camp– Full day camp is separated into categories:

  • Explorer Boys (1st -3rd grade): Groups in the Junior Boys division have 8-10 campers and 1 counselor.
  • Explorer Girls (1st -3rd grade): Groups in the Junior Girls division have 9-11 campers and 1 counselor.
  • Super Seniors (4th – 7th grade): Groups in the Senior division have 10-12 campers with 1 counselor as these campers tend to be more independent.
  • SKOR Camp (1st – 7th grade): These campers will be assigned a counselor with a maximum of a 1:3 ratio.

The groups are determined by age, gender, and the grade they are entering in Fall 2021. We will do our best when grouping, but it is extremely important that we have grade and friend request by April 1 due to the number of campers in the program.

Specialty Camps– Specialty camp options are made up of campers 8-12 years old.

  • Sports Medley group has between 10-15 campers and is co-ed (though primarily boys).
  • Dance & Cheer camp is a group of 10-15 girls.

Teen Camps – Camp Option for campers 13 – 15 years old.

  • LIT– Leaders-in-Training is made up of campers 13 – 15 years of age and is co-ed.


  • Friend requests can only be submitted for the Full Day School Age Camp (1st-7th grade/6-12-year-old) Option. All other camp options are very specialized.
  • If you would like your child grouped with a friend, you can make that request at the time of registration. However, all campers in the 8-week session will be grouped together, and all half summer campers will be grouped together.
  • You must provide the friend’s first and last name. Without a full name, the request cannot be honored.
  • For consistency and staff ratio purposes, requests are limited to one friend for the summer – not one per session.
  • Please remember a request is not a guarantee.
  • All regular camp groups are separated by age and gender, making it impossible to place a boy and girl in the same group, or children of different ages.
  • No friend requests can be taken for Vacation Camps due to limited number of groups.
  • Remember, camp is a great opportunity for children to meet and make new friends!

Behavior Policy:

The Summer Day Camp staff is trained to deal with children in a positive manner that builds self-esteem.  However, sometimes it does become necessary to correct a child’s behavior when that behavior is inappropriate and/or challenging. Counselors will try positively to redirect a child’s behavior and, if necessary, will seek the assistance of the Behavior Team. If the inappropriate conduct issues continue, the parents will be notified, and further disciplinary action will be taken.

Behavior Specialist Team:

We will have a team of Behavior Specialists on staff this summer.  They are responsible for effecting positive behavioral changes in campers; providing supportive intervention to counselors and/or campers; complying with Federal & State policies and regulations.  This key aspect of working on the team is identifying needs and being responsible for creating a safe, stimulating and supporting environment for all campers in our care. Communication with parents regarding major incidents will be conducted by this team.  Discussion will take place regarding an appropriate plan of action.

Zen Zone:

The Zen Zone is a place where campers can go during the day when they are having a rough moment to decompress and have a little bit of time away from their group.  This area will provide campers different sensory techniques to calm down including stress balls, sensory bottles, therapeutic games and toys, journals to write in, etc.  This space allows campers with learning activities to redirect unwanted behaviors.  This nurturing environment is designed to help campers succeed in building relationships and develop new skills for a positive camp experience.  Incentive programs and documentation of issues are documented by the behavior specialist.


Bullying is when one or more children continually target a child and their actions would know that the bully’s actions physically or emotionally harm the victim, damage their property or insult / demean the victim.

Camp Administration has a zero-tolerance policy pertaining to physical actions against others, stealing, bullying, and disrespect for staff and property. These actions are disruptive and result in negative experiences for everyone. The Camp Administrative Staff reserve the right to suspend or terminate a camper’s participation at any time for failure to adhere to the rules and values of camp.  Please understand that there will be no refunds given to children who are suspended or terminated for behavior issues. Behavior Specialist will provide behavior chart outline when needed.

MEDICATION: If your child needs to take any medication during camp hours, the medication must be delivered to the Health Office Administrator (who is certified in CPR / 1st Aid and AED for the Professional Rescuer) in the camp office. It must be in its original container with the appropriate label and instructions, have your child’s name on it, and have the appropriate amount of medication needed for the duration of the illness or for the duration of your child’s stay at camp. A Medication Consent Form must be completed prior to the first day of your camper’s session.

ASTHMA:  Campers are not permitted to keep asthma inhalers in their bags for safety reasons.  Other campers should not have access to that medication.  In addition, our certified staff need to document all medication dispensation according to state guidelines.

ALLERGIES: If your child suffers from severe allergies, diabetes, or any other debilitating condition, you must also fill out a Food Allergy Action Plan (signed by a doctor) for staff to follow in the event of an emergency (allergy sufferers must also provide an Epi-pen and Benadryl to the Office staff). Counselors are going to be advised to wristband all campers with food restrictions for Theme Days and Elective Time activities that involve food.

ILLNESS: If your child has a communicable disease, they may not return to camp without a doctor’s note. If your child becomes ill at camp, you will be notified immediately to pick up your child. The YMCA does not provide care for sick campers. Please understand that children may not return to camp until they are fever free for 24 hours.  The same holds true for children who have been vomiting or have diarrhea. In accordance with our State License, parents are to pick up their sick child or send an authorized person to pick up the sick child within 30 minutes of notification.

INJURY: If your child becomes injured at camp, you will be notified. All Camp Administrators are certified in CPR / 1st Aid and AED for the Professional Rescuer, as well as many additional staff located around the campgrounds. The Health Office Administrator will always be available in the camp office for first aid attention. Campers with serious injuries that require emergency medical attention will be transported to St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville unless otherwise specified by the Emergency Medical Team or indicated on your camper’s medical form. Parent will be notified.

EXTREME HEAT: Most of our summer camp program takes place outdoors.  However, a good portion of camp is shade covered from the trees, tents, and a pavilion.  We also provide water related afternoon activities to cool campers down (i.e., water slides, sprinklers, misting stations to cool off the air, etc.).  Each afternoon campers are provided with indoor (air-conditioned) and outdoor activity choices.

SUNSCREEN: All groups have scheduled times for application.  We have hypoallergenic SPF 30 sunblock available for all campers for morning and afternoon application. We do encourage all parents to apply sunscreen to their campers before dropping them off in the morning. Sunscreen will not be applied on cloudy or rainy days.

HYDRATION STATIONS: Camp will have two separate chilled water filtration stations where campers can fill up water bottles as needed throughout the day.  We encourage each camper to bring a labeled (camper name and group number) water bottle each day. The filling stations will also have a water fountain component if a camper does not have a water bottle.


  • Two sports fields
  • Shaded Lower Picnic Area
  • Outdoor Picnic Pavilion with Water and Electricity
  • Blacktop area for Four-Square and Basketball
  • Playground
  • Outdoor bathrooms, changing Rooms and shower area, separate from Membership for camper safety
  • Large Event tents for extra shade and seating
  • GA-GA Pit with turf surface
  • Air-conditioned gymnasium
  • Onsite 6-lane indoor pool


We recommend that you pack your child additional healthy snacks (granola bars, crackers, apples, etc.), to have throughout the day.  We have a scheduled snack time twice per day.  You should also pack your camper a snack for post-supervision if they are in the aftercare program.


A catered (individually packaged) lunch program is provided for all campers.  You must have selected lunch or bring from home prior to the session starting.  Counselors are responsible for handing out camper lunches daily. Please understand that camp staff cannot force a child to eat.  The YMCA will have an alternate lunch choice of an individual cereal, milk with crackers and jelly for those campers who do not like the catering choice, however this option must be selected prior to the session starting.

Please understand that with the combination of weather and activities, it is very important that every camper eats throughout the day.  We do our best to select a variety of kid friendly choices for the campers, however, it is difficult to please 400 campers. Individual drinks are not included in the lunch program.

If there is a day that your camper will not be participating in the lunch program, they will need to bring a lunch to camp. An insulated lunch bag with an ice pack is recommended, as there is no refrigeration or microwave service available. PLEASE LABEL ALL ITEMS WITH NAME AND GROUP NUMBER. NO GLASS BOTTLES ALLOWED.  Credits will not be given for days your camper does not participate in the lunch program.

After lunch, campers will follow an hour recreational schedule with 15-minute rotations. Those rotations will include table time, GA-GA, Blacktop, and Ice Cream. Campers must remain in neighborhoods/divisions during this time.


Ice cream is available each day during recreational lunch time (separate periods for each division). All ice cream served will be individually packaged.

For this summer, each camp group has a unique schedule based around swim periods for the week.  Each schedule includes the following components: Brainiac Academy, Heroic Journey, Division Time, Big Fun Time (BFT) and Foodie Fridays as well as a snack time. See below for more information about each component.


This activity time will bridge the GAP of learning loss during the summer months.  Campers will have time to read, have some trivia challenges, brain teasers, math, and literacy puzzles and more. Campers are encouraged to bring a book from home to read during this time.

HEROIC JOURNEY (Social Emotional Learning Time):

With popular superhero and movie characters and stories, teaching social emotional learning and bullying prevention in ways that children and teens find relatable.


A 15-minute period each day will be allotted where campers can sit, rest, and enjoy a snack from home. Please follow healthy guidelines. No candy please.


Campers will be given a fun treat in the afternoon on Fridays.  They will be distributed by the Activity Leaders and the camp director.


Currently, children have a choice of activities to participate in an assigned area each day.  This division time gives campers an opportunity to be with campers from other groups (within their own division or neighborhood) as well as other staff.

The activity areas are as follows:

  • Field Games – Field 1
  • Special Sports & Games – Gymnasium
  • Board Games & Card Games – Camp Sites
  • GA-GA, Blacktop, & Water Activities – Blacktop & Lower Picnic
  • Arts & Crafts – Camp Sites

BFT (Big Fun Time):

A 30-minute period once per week is provided when the Activity Leaders for 3-4 groups at camp will run an entertaining and exciting large group activity. This time will showcase the cool and silly personalities of the staff while engaging the campers in some group fun!


The summer aquatic program is intended to give campers a balance of instructional and recreational swimming. There is one instructional swim period per week with the last 5 minutes of the period being recreational.  All children will be evaluated the first day of each session for safety. They will be asked to demonstrate their abilities by swimming one length of the pool. Those not able to swim the length safely and without struggling or stopping will be given a bubble device to wear requiring them to stay in the shallow end of the pool. The other children will be placed according to their ability and relative size.  There are no swim evaluations given at the end of the summer, because the lessons do not follow the set progression that our year-round swim lesson follow.  Questions specific to swimming lessons and swim groups should be directed to the Aquatic Director, Ed Soder.  He can be reached at 973-507-7022 or via email at

Those children with shoulder length hair or longer will be required to pull hair back in a ponytail. All children must shower before swimming. All children who are not swimming must go to the pool balcony during his/her swim time. Please understand that we do not force any campers to swim. Some groups will have swim time during elective time. During these swim periods, campers are given a choice between elective and swim.

Of course, if you would like your camper to swim, please send a note to the counselor communicating your request and we will try our best to motivate your camper to participate.


Parents and Guardians who wish to have their child picked up prior to dismissal must call (973-507-7047) or email ( ) the camp office 30 minutes prior to pick up.  Parents MUST remain in their vehicles. The Camp Office Administrator will call to the camper’s group and have the staff collect their belongings and have them waiting at the camp office for a quick and easy pick-up.

Please be aware that children will be kept outside through light rain/drizzle. Campers will only be moved inside when rain is heavy, or thunder and lightning are present.  The campers will rotate throughout the YMCA building, pavilion, and tent areas.


Lost and Found is located next to the PODS. This area will be organized by the type of item lost in labeled bins. Due to the large number of campers and the volume of items that are found not labeled, lost items are only kept for one week. Group counselors will encourage campers to look through lost and found items before the end of each week. Labeling all your campers’ personal items with name and group number will help us in being able to distribute such items directly to groups and not to the lost and found area.  Please do not send new/expensive items, especially towels to camp.  Any items not claimed from Lost and Found each Friday, will be discarded by 6:00PM


Cell phones are strictly prohibited at camp for the safety and security of the campers. Cell phones that are found will be confiscated from the camper and brought to the camp office.  Parents may pick them up from the camp office at pick up.

1st  Offense:      Verbal Warning

2nd Offense:     Camper will be suspended for one day following the incident.

3rd Offense:     The camper will be terminated from the program. NO EXCEPTIONS. No refunds for missed time.


As per state guidelines, campers are not permitted to go to the bathroom without a counselor accompanying them.


We recommend that all campers bring a backpack to camp every day to keep his/her belongings together. Please check your camper’s backpack every evening to ensure that no one else’s belongings accidentally ended up in your camper’s backpack.  If this did happen, please return lost items to the camp office the next day.

Please understand that if any camper is found going through another camper’s backpack the consequences will be as follows:

  • 1st offense – verbal warning.
  • 2nd offense – one day suspension from the camp program.
  • 3rd offense – termination from the camp program with no refund for missed time.


When allowing your child to participate in the YMCA, the following policies must be followed:

  1. Your camper is a child who can and will participate fully in the program and is in good physical condition, unless otherwise communicated to the Camp Director in writing.
  2. A camper is expected to enter camp at the beginning of a session and remain until the end of the session. No reduction in cost can be made for late arrivals, early departures, or days missed. We cannot split the sessions.
  3. It is agreed that the camper will cooperate and accept camp guidance in standards of behavior. Failure to adhere to these standards may result in suspension or dismissal with no refund.
  4. Day Camp activities/themes may be rescheduled at the discretion of the Camp Administrators.
  5. Rules for acceptance and participation in the program of the YMCA are the same for everyone regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, or gender identity.
  6. For the security and safety of all children, no person may enter the campgrounds unless accompanied by an Administrative Staff member. You will need to report to the camp office before entering the grounds.
  7. The YMCA is not responsible for personal items brought to camp should they be misplaced or damaged. Parents who allow campers to bring items from home do so at their own risk.
  8. It is the responsibility of each camper to remember to bring his or her bathing suit, towel, and backpack etc., home each day. While staff members will encourage campers to keep their belongings together in an orderly fashion, they will not be held responsible for items that do not make it home each day.


When registering for camp, the following payment policies must be honored:

  1. A $200/$400 Deposit is required at the time of registration for enrollment for half/full summer, respectively.
  2. Deposits and monies are refundable until May 15, 2021. Cancellations must be sent in writing to the camp director or bookkeeper.
  3. Withdrawals from the Camp Program not received in writing by May 15 for the first half of the summer and full summer and June 15 for the second half of the summer will result in loss of all camp fees.
  4. All camp forms must be completed within 5 business days of receiving the Action Required email. After March 10, you will receive a link via PlayerSpace to log in and fill out forms online. Registration is not complete until all forms have been received and approved by YMCA Staff.
  5. Camp balances are due no later than May 15 for the first half of the summer and June 15 for the second half of the summer.
  6. All registrations after June 15 will require full payment at the time of registration.
  7. Financial Assistance applications, for those who qualify, are available at or at the member service desk as of January 2021.
  8. When registering for camp please submit completed Financial Assistance application with all required documentation and a 50% deposit per child.
  9. Letter for tax purposes will be mailed in January 2022. The YMCA tax ID number is 22-155-9438.
  10. Refunds will not be given if a discipline problem arises. Credits will not be given for camper absences.
  11. Camp payments may be mailed to the YMCA or paid on the website. If you would like to personally deliver your payment, you can do so at the Member Services Desk during normal business hours.
  12. All requests for changes in camp type or session must be done in writing and addressed to the Camp Director – – and will be handled based on availability. After May 15, please send camp change emails to